A very scarce immigrant from southern Europe with only a handful of recent records. In the 19th century, it bred several times on the south coast of England, most often on Spurge (Euphorbia spp.).

The adult resembles the more frequent Bedstraw Hawk-moth (Hyles gallii), but has a distinctive rosy tinge to the underside, as well as more solid markings on the upperwing. The appearance of the caterpillars varies.

Flight Season

Adults can occur in the UK between late May and October.

Size and Family

  • Family: Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
  • Large: 5.5-7.5cm 

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Perennial herbaceous spurges; larvae rarely found in Britain, though did breed several times on the south coast in 19th century, usually on Spurge (Euphorbia spp.). 

Distribution

  • Countries: Central and southern Europe, especially Spain and France
  • South of England only 

Habitat

Breeds abroad in sunny habitats, such as field margins and coastal sand dunes.

Spurge Hawk-moth - Tamás Nestor

Spurge Hawk-moth

Spurge Hawk-moth - Tamás Nestor

Spurge Hawk-moth

Spurge Hawk-moth - Tamás Nestor

Spurge Hawk-moth

Spurge Hawk-moth (underwing) - Dean Morley

Spurge Hawk-moth (underwing)

Spurge Hawk-moth (caterpillar) - Tamás Nestor

Spurge Hawk-moth (caterpillar)

Spurge Hawk-moth (caterpillar) - Adam Gor

Spurge Hawk-moth (caterpillar)

Spurge Hawk-moth (caterpillar tail spike) - Adam Gor

Spurge Hawk-moth (caterpillar tail spike)

Spurge Hawk-moth (pupa) - Dean Morley

Spurge Hawk-moth (pupa)